Nothing kills the joy of announcing a pregnancy like finding out your famous husband sends nudie pics out all over the web. Of course, if you knew he’d done this in the past, finding out he’s still doing it is probably not all that surprising. Disappointing, sure. But surprising? Nah. Which is why I have to disagree with Sunny, who says Huma Abedin’s pregnancy is — through no fault of her own, of course — terribly timed.
Good or bad timing is pretty relative when it comes to having a baby — it’s different for every woman. For those who went and married a guy who takes pictures of his crotch and lies a lot, good timing is more a thing of wanting a baby and being in the right stage in one’s career — not so much being able to appear next to said husband at his walk-of-shame press conference. If something like pregnancy is what’s keeping Abedin out of the spotlight, then I’d say the pregnancy of Anthony Weiner’s wife of 11 months is, on the contrary, a pretty well-timed pregnancy indeed.
The fact that Abedin is gestating, however, doesn’t make her frail or needy (of anything other than, say, snacks and a nap), which is how too many people appear to be characterizing her after word got out she’s in the early months of pregnancy.
Former Salon editor Joan Walsh, a writer I admire and someone who defended Weiner’s refusal to resign, tweeted this after news of Abedin’s pregnancy broke: “The pregnancy changes everything. Weiner could depict fighting as political courage, but dragging a pregnant wife deeper in this muck?”
It’s politically courageous to drag a wife — or a wife and kids — deeper in this muck, but totally scandalous if the wife is with child? I don’t get that. Pregnant women aren’t weak. Also? Partners of politicians and their kids aren’t expendable. Pregnancy doesn’t make Weinergate extra tragic. Weiner’s disregard for his wife makes Weinergate extra tragic.
UPDATE: Walsh posted a longer piece over on Salon, but it’s still an argument that hinges on Abedin’s pregnancy.
Dragging her through any more humiliation, while she’s pregnant, would be cruelty. He can’t do it. Weiner has to resign. He owes it to his family.
Abedin may be through with him; she hasn’t spoken about the news, and admirably, she left with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a trip to northern Africa today. Still, she’ll have more peace and privacy if Weiner puts this mess behind him, and she deserves it.
Abedin deserves support, sure; every person in that situation does. But not solely because she’s pregnant. I mean, she deserves support because she’s pregnant, but so does every pregnant women, whether or not she’s the wife of a disgraced and disgraceful politician.
Why is the baby a game-changer? Weiner’s the same guy, Abedin’s the same woman. The kid doesn’t care and won’t … for years.
Abedin is educated, insured, financially well off, and probably at the right point in her career to have a baby — with or without Weiner, whether or not he survives this scandal. It’s not as if the family is going to run out of money if he resigns. Or that Weiner won’t be around to help out on night duty, if they split up over this. He was never going to help on night duty!
Abedin’s going to have plenty of help and a whole lotta support, personally and professionally. Just look at her boss! Since Abedin has, for years, worked for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose work for women and children runs long and deep, she’s hardly at risk for getting fired while on maternity leave.
And then there’s that other thing … you know what I’m talking about. Abedin couldn’t do better in terms of scandal-specific support either. There could be no more empathetic shoulder to cry on than that of Mrs. Bill Clinton.
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